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Antarctic Fur Seal Essay

768 words - 3 pages

There are 8 differnt speices of fur seals belonging to the otariid family one of these seals is known as the Antarctic Fur Seal. Antarctic Fur Seals were formerly known as the Kerguelen fur seal, but now their scientific name is Arctocephalus gazella These seals are also called 'eared seals' because of their small external ear-flaps. Some people also call them 'walking seals' because they can walk and run and move quickly, even over steep rocky surfaces. These seals came close to extinction in the 19th centry because people hunted them for their velvety fur. Today fur seals can become entangled in marine debris such as polypropylene packaging bands, nylon string and fishing nets, but are no longer threatend for extinction. In 1982 there was an estimated 369,000 antarcitic fur seals on their breading grounds. Antarctic fur seals have more preditors then just humans. Leopard seals prey on some juveniles and pups, while killer whales may also be a predator. Their fur is both waterproof and windproof, because of the dense velvety underpelt about 2.5 centimetres long. On the outside they have a thin layer of hairs. When the seals come out of the water they look very shinny as if they are covered with water, but with only a few shakes their fur is compleatly dry.Because they are waterpoof and windproof this helps the seals to be equally fast on land and in water. The seals live in on the beaches of many Sub Antarctic islands, but breed in only a few places mainly on Sub Antarctic islands south of the Antarctic convergence like South Georgia. About 95% of antarctic seals bread on the beaches of South Georgia. Other breading islands include the South Orkney and South Shetland Islands, South Sandwich Islands, Bouvetøya, Iles Kerguelen, and Heard Island, with only three colonies (on Marion Island, Iles Crozet, and Macquarie Island) lying north of the convergence. The breeding season takes place from November to early January, the malearrive early at the sub-Antarctic...

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